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The Carrot Sticks. Create Interdisciplinary “Building Assessment” Green Teams, and a Standard Assessment Model Make “going green” cool/fashionable Smart Refrigeration System (SRS) The Rensselaericle.

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the carrot sticks
The Carrot Sticks
  • Create Interdisciplinary “Building Assessment” Green Teams, and a Standard Assessment Model
  • Make “going green” cool/fashionable
  • Smart Refrigeration System (SRS)
  • The Rensselaericle
create interdisciplinary building assessment green teams and a standard assessment model
Create Interdisciplinary “Building Assessment” Green Teams, and a Standard Assessment Model
  • Focus: assessing the performance and use of a building, via more holistic approach
  • Team conducts multi-faceted analysis
  • Develop a Standard Assessment Model
  • Apply for grant (Stimulus Package, NSF, NYSERDA etc.) Specific to bio-limaticassessment and retrofitting of older buildings
  • Impact
    • Environment: Project dependent thus potential impact is large
    • Economic: Project dependent
    • Culture: Train and grow awareness among group and building occupants
  • Pay-Back
    • Dependent on extent and type of retrofit identified
  • Feedback
focus h olistic building assessment
Focus: Holistic building assessment
  • Departs from piece-meal, ‘quick-fix’, heavy-handed approaches to building renovation (e.g., replace all windows, replace all light bulbs, replace all plumbing fixtures)
  • Examines the interplay of multiple additional factors and data
team would conduct a multi faceted analysis
Team would conduct a multi-faceted analysis
  • Bioclimatic analysis: energy use/performance of building systems
    • How much do existing systems take into account the external environment? (wait for SRS)
    • Account for:
      • Solar energy presence
      • Wind flows
      • Temperature swings (diurnal, seasonal, etc.)
  • Occupancy flows (uses of the building during the course of the day; uses in different seasons; changes in use in past decades)
make sustainability cool
Make Sustainability Cool
  • Publicize/promote outstanding sustainable products
  • Showcase/advertise sustainable behaviors/practices
  • Impact:
    • Culture: Foster positive attitudes towards the environmental implications of social behaviors
    • Economic: Minimal…advertising. Word of mouth, action
    • Environment: Once the ball gets rolling….
  • Who will implement?
    • Admin., IWSTF, SSTF, and everyone
  • Feedback…
driving a sustainability culture
Driving a Sustainability Culture
  • President Jackson is ‘far and away’ the most influential voice on campus
    • Only person whose decisions/leadership automatically gets results
  • In consultation with Dr. Jackson, develop strategies for driving a sustainability culture
    • Inspiration: a slogan with the impact of “Yes We Can!”
    • Aspiration : set clear goals, with metrics and monitoring
    • Communication: continue the SSTF’s model of collaborative knowledge-building, networking and idea-mining
    • Motivation: publicize achievements to create the desire for others to emulate success
  • Example: Campus retailers or organizations (e.g., Student Senate) offer subsidies to clubs or teams who buy sustainable products and materials and use sustainable practices/processes
  • Example: request “sustainable product reviews” from Statler & Waldorf and/or The Poly
examples cont
Examples Cont.
  • Example: use the central sustainability information website as an advertising venue
    • “Top Ten Sustainable Products”
    • “Product of the Week”
  • Example: provide display area (showcase or central sustainability area)
example the rensselaer eco button
Example: The Rensselaer “Eco-Button™”
  • USB-connected energy counter/hibernator for computers
    • Instantly hibernates computer at near-zero energy consumption
    • Instantly re-awakens at “wherever you left off”
      • First screen shows money saved, energy saved
    • Rensselaer logo printed on the button
  • Purchase at reduced rate through Voorhees Computer Center
    • Add to computing package sold to incoming students
      • Could use coupon to be redeemed at the VCC
    • Sell to faculty and staff
      • Use fliers and coupons to advertise
      • Provide free for a limited time
      • Can also purchase additional buttons
  • Advanced use: develop additional software to track and display the savings by class, by school, etc.

Product currently available at:

example annual sustainability awards appreciation dinner
Example: Annual Sustainability Awards/Appreciation Dinner
  • Awards for best sustainability courses
  • Awards for best sustainability research
  • Showcase innovative technologies
  • Recognition of best practices (emphasizing ‘operations’ at Rensselaer)
  • Could incorporate speaker or presentations on innovative technologies
example club for recycled art
Example: Club for “Recycled Art”
  • Group focused on creating art made of recycled material.
  • Intended to be displayed in public spaces.
  • Would provide venue for creative students
  • Easy to set up due to pre-existing environmental awareness clubs.
example sponsor intramural sports teams
Example: Sponsor Intramural Sports Teams
  • Select several intramural sports teams to represent a sustainability theme.
  • Provide free themed t-shirts, water bottles, etc.
  • Consciousness raising.
  • Analogous to Vasudha.
research project smart refrigeration system srs
Research Project: Smart Refrigeration System (SRS)
  • Eco-Refrigerator integrated into building wall to cool with outside air in winter
    • Reduce energy consumption
    • Reduce the use of freon
    • Use indoor and outdoor thermostat to control switching of cooling system
  • Discharge off-heat to outside the building in summer (to reduce air-conditioning costs)
    • Discharge to inside the building in winter
  • The “Rensselaericle”: transforming the American auto industry
  • Goal: to address the entire life cycle of transportation carbon emissions
    • By creating a new, low-emissions (electric vehicle), but ALSO
    • By doing away with “consumable” or “throw-away” cars and trucks
  • Underlying problem: U.S. metropolitan models are decentralized; therefore the European approach to urban public transportation is cost-inhibitive for most U.S. locations
    • Americans love “individual” freedom: they are addicted to “a car for every person”
    • Also addicted to consumerism – always wanting “the latest style”
    • Result: a new car every year or two (or five)
      • Greatest carbon emission is not gas mileage, but auto manufacturing/embodied energy


  • Solution: create a modular car, with a “core to last a lifetime” (20-30 year life)
    • Base model: galvanized metal, slate gray, simple shape
      • Simple, durable interior design
      • Independent electric motors at every wheel (regenerative breaking)
      • Central ‘power-box’ where electricity is generated
    • Add-ons: exterior body panels (e.g., make it a Cadillac, Ferrari, or Buick)
      • Similar ‘upgrades’ for interior
      • All using interchangeable parts
    • Power source: as new technology (e.g., upgraded batteries, fuel cell, LNG) come on the market, the owner changes the power source, NOT the car
    • Result: satisfies consumer desire for a “new car” with a fraction of the manufacturing costs – in terms of both economics and carbon emissions
      • Used parts can be exchanged, re-used
      • “Core” could also be expanded (e.g., from 2-seat to 4-seat module) by unbolting and inserting an add-on section
      • Basic “core/skeleton” remains unchanged
  • Note: could devastate the auto industry, which is based economically on frequent, wasteful replacement with a new model
    • Current timing – with the auto industry already undergoing major overhaul – is ideal


  • Impact
    • Environmental: Greatest carbon emissions reduction possible
    • Economic: Flip economics of auto industry
    • Culture: Dispose of throw away mentality…
  • Who will implement?